Debt free and stress free
It took two and a half years from groundbreaking to the first service, but Brooksville Assembly of God in Brooksville, Florida successfully completed their Monolithic Dome church — debt free.
“And it wasn’t only debt free,” said Executive Pastor Frank Prestigiacomo. “It was virtually stress free. We never had to hesitate or slow down due to money. There were delays, but they were caused by regulatory agencies. We never lost a subcontractor and that is in and of itself a miracle. In fact, we call our dome, The Miracle of Grace Dome.”
The Miracle of Grace Dome
Presently 1300 call Brooksville A/G their church home, but the dome offers room to grow with seating capacity for 2300. The 176′ × 58′ dome offers a large sanctuary and foyer entry area with tape and information counters.
Classrooms for christian education, children and youth services are in the original building, along with the fellowship hall. The conventional addition on the dome’s entrance consists of two floors, with the upper level providing access to the heating and cooling systems.
The dome was built essentially debt free due to the fact that all money for the church was raised internally. The church teaches the principle of tithing, but focuses on “no pressure giving.”
Two years prior to construction, they had $800,000 toward the building project. They planned to have no less than 60% of the $3.8 million needed before starting and this was achieved by January 2001. To finish the project, they raised the balance over the next 2.5 years.
Initially, the acoustics needed a lot of work so they called in sound specialist Porter Falcon of Falcon Audio to work on the system. Pastor Frank said, “It still needs some fine tuning, but now the overall acoustics are great.”
Their first service was held September 14, 2003 and their inaugural service in January 2004. The inaugural service included an extended weekend of activities which attracted many city officials, county commissioners, the sheriff and many new members and visitors.
Tours of the dome
Community residents and parishoners were extremely positive about the dome structure. Everyone remained excited during the entire building process.
Pastor Frank explained, “Once the building was safe and we got the go ahead from the contractor, we held monthly dome tours at the end of each morning service. We publicized it on the marquee, and people came for morning service just so they could walk through the dome.”
The church is the only Monolithic Dome in the area, so there have been discussions with city officials to use the facility in an emergency, since they are in hurricane territory.
Future plans include streaming audio visual via the Internet of Sunday services.
Because his father was a general contractor, Pastor Frank had a working knowledge of construction. He also managed a large home center facility and worked in the real estate industry prior to entering the ministry in 1985.
Pastor Frank highly recommends building a Monolithic Dome to others interested in unique architecture.
He said, “I would advise a pastor or others to obtain a working knowledge of domes and be comfortable with the fixed structure. You can add on, but the additions have to be separate from the original facility or planned for from the start. Take into consideration the best size and try to utilize all the space available.”
Note: Article originally published in April 2004. Dollar amounts were valid in 2001-2004.